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MixtapeCeaser204
08-06-2010, 06:16 AM
Roy Nelson still keeps in touch with the man he beat in one of the most-watched MMA bouts in U.S. history, Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson.

"I think Kimbo could still beat a few guys," Nelson says of the former YouTube sensation whom he overwhelmed with his grappling experience.

Nelson, the heavyweight champion of the International Fight League before its demise, may have been overqualified for The Ultimate Fighter, the reality show that put him in a house with 15 less-experienced heavyweights and pitted him against Ferguson. But he says he's happy with the publicity boost he earned and the ensuing career path that has him matched up with Junior dos Santos at UFC 117 (10 p.m. ET Saturday, pay-per-view) in Oakland, Calif.

http://i.usatoday.net/communitymanager/_photos/fighting-stances/2010/08/05/roynelsonx-large.jpg


The winner will be well-placed for a shot at the winner of the Brock Lesnar-Cain Velasquez title fight later this year.

"It's a PR stunt that worked out in my favor," Nelson says of The Ultimate Fighter. Spike TV said the episode in which he fought Slice drew an average of 5.3 million viewers, peaking at 6.1 million during the fight, the most-watched episode of an original series in Spike's six-year history to that point.

Nelson has cultivated a playful image centered around his unusual build, with his big belly more noticeable than his muscles. In UFC fights, he has entered the cage to the "Weird Al" Yankovic song "Fat." After wins, he mugs for the camera and rubs his stomach. He is openly angling for an endorsement deal with Burger King.

Leading up to the dos Santos fight, he has grown out a mullet, looking vaguely like a long-lost rhythm guitarist from Molly Hatchet or Lynryd Skynyrd.

While Nelson has fun getting publicity, he has come to terms with the realities of mixed martial arts business. Before appearing The Ultimate Fighter, Nelson suffered an October 2008 loss to Andrei Arlovski in EliteXC's final major card that shook up his outlook on his sport. He was dominating on the ground and in the clinch, but referee Jorge Ortiz twice stopped the action to bring them back to a standing position. Arlovski eventually knocked Nelson out.

Nelson says he learned not to expect MMA to be "pure."

"With Arlovski, it wasn't so pure, and I lost my mind because I thought this sport that I loved so much was so tainted that I wanted to walk away," Nelson says. "It made me lose my mind, but at the same time prepared to be ready for anything any other organization has for me after that fight. So it made me a stronger person."

So when Nelson talks with Ferguson now, he's not giving grappling tips. He's talking about how to navigate the MMA business waters.

"It's more how to escape the impure parts of the sport, the politics," Nelson says. "Basically good business relationships."

He has no specific complaints with the UFC, saying it's exciting to be where he is.

"I am happy where I'm currently at in the UFC," Nelson says. "Am I satisfied? No. As a fighter, you should never be satisfied. You should always want more and demand more. If you're just satisfied, you're never going to be a champion."

And he's thrilled to be fighting dos Santos, who beat Fabricio Werdum, who recently beat longtime No. 1 heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko.

"From what everybody's telling me, the winner out of our fight gets the next title shot," Nelson says. "I'm excited. He's the guy in the UFC to beat. He's the guy that knocked out Werdum, and Werdum's the guy that beat the guy that was unbeatable for 10 years."

(Posted by Beau Dure)

Roy Nelson pleased, but not satisfied, with his UFC path so far - MMA Fighting Stances: Mixed martial arts intelligence from the cage and ring - USATODAY.com (http://content.usatoday.com/communities/mma/post/2010/08/roy-nelson-pleased-but-not-satisfied-with-his-ufc-path-so-far/1)

If he wins the strap I think he'll lock down that Burger King deal haha